Australia creates massive marine reserve

2012-11-16 08:28
Australia has created the world's largest network of marine reserves. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Australia has created the world's largest network of marine reserves. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

  • Environment
    This volume of "The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture" surveys the dynamic environmental forces... Now R886.00
    buy now
Sydney - Australia on Friday created the world's largest network of marine reserves, protecting a huge swathe of ocean environment despite claims it will devastate the fishing industry.

The announcement, after years of planning and consultation, will significantly expand the protection of creatures such as the blue whale, green turtle, critically endangered populations of grey nurse sharks, and dugongs.

The scale of the plan, which will cover more than 2.3 million square kilometres in six marine regions, was first made public in June.

Environment Minister Tony Burke said of 80 000 submissions received, the vast majority supported the proposal.

"There are very few countries in the world that are as responsible for as much of the ocean as Australia is. And our oceans are under serious threat," he said.

"There are a range of actions that need to be taken to turn the corner on the health of our oceans. Establishing national parks in the ocean is a big part of that total picture."

Future generations


Burke added that his decision was important for future generations.

"We need to appreciate that in the years to come we don't want people to only know the magnificence of their oceans through aquariums or by watching Finding Nemo," he said, referring to the animated Disney film.

But fishermen are furious, claiming coastal communities would be ruined, thousands of jobs lost and the A$2bn ($2bn) aquaculture industry seriously impacted.

The Australian Marine Alliance, which conducted a cost analysis, claimed 60 regional communities would be affected, 36 000 jobs lost and 70 - 80 trawler operators displaced, while the cost of seafood imports would soar.

Burke said he understood his decision would have an impact, but claimed it would only affect 1% of the commercial fishing industry nationally.

To compensate, he said businesses hurt by the changes would be able to access A$100m in assistance.

"Even though the new marine reserves have been designed in a way to minimise impacts on industry and recreational users, the government recognises that there will be impacts on some fishers and we will support those impacted," he said.

Energy companies


The Commonwealth Fisheries Association criticised the amount of compensation on offer and Queensland's Fisheries Minister John McVeigh said the plan, which will lock up huge areas off the state's central and north coast, was "madness".

"The impact right across our fishing communities will be enormous," he said, warning of job losses.

"There will be a marked shift to imported seafood - that will rape fragile reef and other marine environments overseas where there is no proper management."

While some limits will be placed on where energy companies can work, tracts of coast off Western Australia, where Shell and Woodside Petroleum recently won permits, will remain open to oil and gas exploration.

The Australian Conservation Foundation welcomed the initiative, saying it would "go down in Australian history as an economically and environmentally sustainable decision".

But the foundation's Paul Sinclair said more could still be done.

"Although the national marine reserve network is an achievement for Australians to celebrate, there is more work to be done to protect our coastal way of life," he said.

"While the reserve network bans oil and gas exploration in the Coral Sea and off Margaret River in Western Australia, protecting nearby beaches from oil spills, the northwest region, including the Kimberley coast, is still vulnerable."
Read more on:    environment  |  marine life
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
4 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Travel

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Commercial Manager

Cape Town Northern Suburbs
Communicate Cape Town Engineering
R400 000 - R600 000 Per Year

Senior Risk Analyst

Cape Town
Star Personnel

Call Centre Customer Service Agent

Cape Town Northern Suburbs
Cozens Recruitment Group ( Western Cape)
R28 Per Hour

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 40% off fashion accessories

Save up to 40% on selected handbags, purses, watches, jewellery and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2000 on top electronics

Get every day mind bowing savings on top electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

As seen on TV - New book releases at only R199 each

Get mind blowing book savings on new titles. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to 50% on Women’s month treats!

Celebrate the awesome women in your life with awesome treats like beauty products, fashion accessories, bestselling books, electronics and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Today is a good day to network and share your ideas and thoughts with your colleagues and friends. Information overload is...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.